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He was gone on a two-week detail for the National Guard. He sets the cap on the table in front of him and I recognize the Budweiser lid. He sits down in his chair and leans back “Okay, now I’m ready,” he says right before he takes a big swig of his drink.As I search my book bag for my tape recorder, Alvarez gets up. Alvarez is not like the average retired copper miner, if one can argue such a thing exists.Upon entering the house of the retired miner, one is taken aback by the heap of landscaping tools lying on his front porch.
Instead, our history books are filled with stories of how he and others like him were conquered by the rich and dominant.
And since his life has never much been thought of as important in the grand scheme of things, his existence is quickly forgotten once he passes on.
His white hair is an indication of his age and acquired wisdom.
His dark, weather-beaten skin exemplifies the many hours he has spent working in the sun and the laborious work he has subjected his body to for the majority of his life.
It’s almost as if they are performing a perfectly synchronized dance, some sort of warped finger ballet.
With his right dancers he grips the red lighter loosely but still firm.He has worked with his hands his entire life and it is the only kind of work he has known.He knows what it is like to work hard for poor wages, struggle financially, and to surrender himself for the good of his family.Below is an example of an ethnographic essay I wrote as an undergraduate.Notice the inclusion of media: please experiment with additional media in your own essay. They hate you if you’re clever, and they despise a fool.He lifts up a cigarette and presses it between his lips.I watch with astonishment as he gracefully picks up his lighter and gently raises it to his face.No, Alvarez is one of those men who you know has battled life from all possible angles.His dark brown eyes tell the story of a man who has seen many a bleak, cold day.His thumb works as the resistance on the wheel of the lighter and with one stroke, a perfect quarter-inch flame is born.With the cast of his left hand he creates a symmetrical half-dome shield to block any wind from extinguishing the flame.